Boston College men’s hockey made headlines this weekend as just the fifth school in NCAA history to have three players selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft for a reason—and that reason is Jerry York.
York, BC ‘67, the all-time winningest head coach in college hockey, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday, alongside three-time Stanley Cup winner Jim Rutherford, three-time Selke Trophy award winner Guy Carbonneau, four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser, Dallas Stars icon Sergei Zubov, and Vaclav Nedomansky, who was the first hockey player to defect from Eastern Europe.
York is just the fifth NCAA coach and the first since 2009 to earn the honor, joining Lou Lamoriello (2009), Herb Brooks (2006), Bob Johnson (1992), and John Mariucci (1985).
Both York and Rutherford will enter the Hall in the builder category. York has certainly done his fair share for the game of hockey. The Watertown, Mass., native is gearing up for his 48th season as a head coach, a journey that started at Clarkson in 1972.
York strung together five winning seasons with the Golden Knights before taking the job at Bowling Green, where he’d start to make his way into the national spotlight. After two straight losing seasons to kick off his tenure in Kentucky, he rebounded with three consecutive 27-plus win campaigns, the last of which culminated in a national championship. York remained with Bowling Green for the next 10 years and reached the NCAA Tournament four times, but never made it past the NCAA Quarterfinals.
In 1994-95, York returned to his alma mater. Fittingly, he shined in Chestnut Hill—yet, just like his two prior head coaching gigs, it took him a few years to get off the ground running. By 1997-98, the Eagles were a bonafide national title contender. In fact, they were one win away from the championship that year. It was the first of four straight Frozen Four appearances, the final resulting in the program’s second-ever NCAA title (and first since 1949).
York, who signed a multi-year extension this winter through 2021-22, has gone on to lead BC to eight more Frozen Fours and three additional national championships (2008, 2010, and 2012), hitting the 25-win mark on 10 separate occasions along the way.
Lately, the Eagles have stumbled upon a rough patch of sorts, failing to make the NCAA Tournament or win the Beanpot each of the past three seasons. But with Hockey East First Team All-Star David Cotton returning for his senior season and an unprecedented freshman class joining the program, BC is expected to end its NCAA Tournament drought in 2019-20 and maybe even add to York’s nation-leading 41 tournament victories.
All in all, York has five national championships, 12 Frozen Four appearances, 10 Hockey East regular season titles, nine Hockey East Tournament championships, and four Hockey East Coach of the Year awards—not to mention one ECAC and four CCHA regular season championships. He’s also coached 18 first-round picks and a collection of NHL players that have hoisted the Stanley Cup a total of 10 times.
York’s induction will take place on Nov. 18 in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame. By then, the Eagles will be six weeks deep into the 2019-20 season.
For years, fans and writers have referred to York as one of the best head coaches in hockey history. Now it’ll be official.
Featured Image by Michael Dwyer/AP Photo